Malaysia Ranks Third in Asia for English Proficiency, 25th Globally

KLCC Malaysia

Malaysia has demonstrated its strong English language proficiency, ranking third in Asia and 25th globally in the 2023 EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI). The EF EPI is the largest international survey of adult English skills, evaluating the English language proficiency of 2.2 million non-native English speakers across 113 countries and regions.

In the 2023 edition, Malaysia achieved a spot among the top three countries in Asia, with Singapore leading the region and the Philippines following closely. Kuala Lumpur was also recognized as a city with high English proficiency, achieving a score of 564 in the EF EPI 2023 City ranking.

The 2023 EF EPI highlights Perak as the top region in Malaysia for English proficiency, with a score of 587, and Kuantan as the top city, achieving a score of 603. Notably, individuals aged 26 to 30 exhibited the highest level of English proficiency in the nation, with an average score of 582.


Overall, Malaysia achieved a total score of 568 in the 2023 index, marking a slight decline of six points compared to the previous year. The EF SET, an online adaptive English test, was used to determine the scores and classify language abilities into one of the six levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The EF EPI also highlights a concerning decline in youth English proficiency over the past five years and a growing gender gap. EF, founded in Sweden in 1965, provides culturally immersive education through language, travel, cultural exchange, and academic programs in over 100 countries. The EF EPI is an annual ranking based on test scores from the EF Standard English Test (EF SET), used worldwide for large-scale testing by schools, companies, and governments, as well as individual test takers.

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